Tony Banks robbed at knifepoint

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The Independent Online

Tony Banks, the Labour MP and former sports minister, has promised to catch four youths who robbed him of £50 at knifepoint close to his home in east London.

Tony Banks, the Labour MP and former sports minister, has promised to catch four youths who robbed him of £50 at knifepoint close to his home in east London.

Mr Banks said he was mugged at about 9.30pm on Monday after being followed from Forest Gate railway station to a side street near his flat. He believes the attackers were watching for a suitable victim.

They stopped him, held a knife to his back and demanded he hand over his money. During the assault, he was punched in the face close to his left eye.

The MP for West Ham, who has built a reputation for being plain-speaking since winning the seat in 1983, said he would continue to take the same route from the House of Commons.

It would give him "great pleasure to catch the bastards", he said. "If they're local, I will see them, because it's my area. I'm not going to be forced off the streets by four yobs, and hopefully I will see them again. I'm annoyed about [the attack]. It doesn't affect me, except to say, I'm going to get you."

Mr Banks said it was ironic that Newham Borough Council's Labour leadership yesterday launched a campaign in the Forest Gate area called "Respect", to root out crime and anti-social behaviour.

Police in Plaistow are investigating the robbery.

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